Nicki Stewart has been painting since 1998 as a natural progression from studies in both Interior and Textile Design in the early 80’s. The technique used is called encaustic (beeswax and dammar resin) on board, an ancient technique which predates oil painting and was used by the Egyptians to decorate their sarcophagi. It is an exciting medium to use with the wax moving from solid to liquid and back again to form a hard resinous surface.
The hot wax is applied to a gesso ground and is built up in layers. The application of heat between layers fuses each layer to the last. Digital images are manipulated, printed, transferred and combined with graphite, charcoal and pigments in multiple layers sealed in by the wax. This interplay between the layers creates an enigmatic depth and translucency in the work and luminosity not available through other mediums. Nicki is a member of NZAFA and currently work and run encaustic workshops from her studio in the South Wairarapa. Nicki has won numerous awards for her creations.